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My first piece of armor: Spectaclehelm (spangenhelm)


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Made this to complete my Norse Karl Viking kit. 

I want to make some additions to the aventail to help it lay better on the shoulders, but I was under a time crunch to finish a workable version. 

16 ga. mild. 

Also the battle axe is my own build - mild steel body with spring steel bit. 

The seax too - brut-de-forge blade with maple burl handle, brass spacers. 

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Also, instead of a polished finish, I wanted an antiqued finish. Accomplished by using SuperBlue and immediately scrubbing it off with an abrasive pad soaked in acetone. 

My idea was not some pristine piece that has never seen use, but the helm of a seasoned warrior. I can't stand new armor that looks like it's never been used in earnest.

 

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IIRC Shiny polished armor indicated it had been used and cleaned where fire black or temper blued armor was "new", perhaps recently repaired. Vivid paint jobs were popular too. 

A knight's attendants did mundane things like care for the horses and clean armor and gear. Armor was typically cleaned by rubbing with fine sand if it wouldn't rinse clean. Rusty was never acceptable rarely on campaign even.

I like the helm. I recall pics of a museum piece like it with eye slits canted to look sinister / angry. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Agree rust would be unacceptable. But in my experience, one's equipment is never as pretty on campaign as it is before/after because of dealing with constant dirt, mud and grime. Then again, I never had a squire in battle. 

Wait...does a copilot count? :D

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It would indeed, Charles!

But the aircraft I flew only carried 2 pilots, no crew chiefs. We had them, but they were just ground maintenance. 

Still, an apt metaphor. I didn't use it because not enough people know what a crew chief is. :lol:

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Maintenance (service and repair) is one set of folks - those are the crew chiefs. 

Arming/ reloading is another (armament dogs)

Fueling is yet another (fuelers). 

Each is its own Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in the army. 

So in theory, there is a whole team of squires, but the focus is keeping things functional, not pretty. 

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That would be . . . yes?

Armorers, service and repair armor and weapons.

Hostlers, manage, feed and care for the mounts and stock.

Grooms, fetch and carry, often care for and feed mounts on campaign.

squires, care more directly for the knight, clean gear, feed and serve as seconds on the battle field.

The warriors of Sparta had attendants to take care of the mundane tasks so they could specialize in fighting. 

The parallels are as ancient as organized groups of humans and conflict.

Frosty The Lucky.

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All true enough about support personnel, but I'm not sure being shiny was a priority on viking raids.  Rust-free and clean, absolutely, but I feel a bit of patina on a well-used helm in the tenth century is appropriate. Besides, I like the look better than bright polished. 

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Very much so Thomas, a 3/4 pot helm was upper middle class so to speak.

Shiny metal wasn't "polished" it was cleaned. think sanded with 80 grit, shined up. It's not like there were cleaners or cleansers in period, lye soap was expensive in a time where fat was food and everybody was hungry.

Of course we're talking art, not take it to war armor so image is everything. To provide the suggestion to the viewer that lets their imagination fill in the rest so they go away with the picture you intend takes an exercise in showmanship or theater. A patina is expected and necessary, I agree and wouldn't produce shiny armor myself for the same reason.

I just get lost in linear thinking sometimes, it's not criticism or even a critique, it's just details sometimes real as we know it, sometimes flights of fancy. They can take hold.

 

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Agreed, Thomas. 
many “persona” is that of an established Karl. 
my kit is a helmet, mail coat, spear, axe, shield, and seax, all of which I made myself except for the mail coat, which I have modified (it’s a PITA making or modifying riveted mail). 
Here is my full kit. The main ahistorical aspect is the footwear, but the rest is fairly authentic to a landed Karl. 
Adding a rawhide rim to the shield is my next upgrade. 
 

 

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Oh, and a horizontal sheath for the seax. 

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Dad was a machinists mate in the navy, he tells a story about an uppity pilot and the crew chief who left an extra set of HUD retaining pins in his seat as a warning as to what side of his toast the jelly was on…

as for myself, I was a 11HE9, lol. We just hitched a ride with you folks once in a wile.

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  I have a family member that rode in on a little bird ms.  His son, my nephew (9yrs) is building a fort out of bamboo and pine branches in the back yard.  I showed him your pictures and he thinks it's pretty awesome.  He's all into it.  :)

  Nice work.

Edited by Scott NC
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14 hours ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

Yep, uppity pilots, lol.  when you were a ground pounder, helicopters all look the same 

Well, you have the one that looks like two palm trees mugging a dumpster, the one that blows stuff up, the one that delivers chow, and the little mosquito-looking one that skims the treetops like they're looking for lost keys (that was me). 

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I've heard several versions of helicopters daring, fate, the gods, gravity, etc. to kill you. There's just something about swinging your wings around over your head that isn't intuitively right.

A few years ago I picked up several buckets of bearing balls from a helicopter mechanic, everything from about 3/8" - 1 1/4" and all of them looked pristine. He had a few choice things to say about changing perfectly good parts just because. When I asked him if he flew he replied, "Not in helicopters."

10-15 years ago one of the helo service was doing auto rotation exercises to certify a new to the company pilot. They'd auto rotate from about 5k' to about 500 and power up, do a touch and go and do it again. Welllllll, just before the pilot in control powered it back up the engine ingested a Canadian goose and the game got REAL. and made a safe landing, didn't even bend the bird.

Happily they typically do auto rotation exercises during winter when the air is cold and dense over Lake Hood when it's frozen so it's not over an "airport runway". Well, dense air makes auto rotation more effective and landing on ice allows higher FWD speed and a safe slide stop. 

Still, it made god footage on the news, they always video / film Auto rotation exercises and there were hundreds of witnesses so no keeping it quiet.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Cav, I spent a fair amount of time in OH-58s and LOACHs (OH-6) in Vietnam.  I understand that if you had to go down in one the LOACH (aka the Mattel Messerschmit) was the most survivable.

After I got back I was a 1LT in the Wyoming Army National Guard as an Aerial Observer.  We started with H-13s (the MASH bird with a reciprocating engine and the bubble front) and then transitioned in the about 1974 to OH-58s.  I ended up with quite a few hours in that bird.  It was an earlier model than yours.  We didn't have all the stuff on top of the rotor mast.

I have noticed that pilots tend to have a different attitude towards life than the rest of us mere mortals.  I saw it in my uncle who was a naval aviator in WW2 and flew with George Bush.  I guess after you have made a torpedo run on a Japanese aircraft carrier everything else in life looks a bit different.  I know my own ground pounder combat experience has colored my perceptions for the last 50 years.

GNM

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